Monday, July 20, 2009

Sam cooks rice!

Welcome to another edition of Sam Can Cook. I've recently got a rice cooker and decided to take my relationship with cooking to another level. Rice is definitely the healthier choice.

But on occasion, we do have our pastas.

Spaghetti with tomato and mushroom pasta sauce. Boiled shrimp. Pan-fried cod. Oyster sauce chicken. Xiao bai cai.

Speaking of xiao chee byes, don't you get a little bit frustrated when people are evasive about saying stuff about themselves? Why are some people so secretive about what they do, where they stay, how old they are and so on? If only everyone is upfront and honest, because they are irritating otherwise. It shows a mistrust we have of one another, and a possibly the belief that our image (whatever price we put on it) depended on it. There's no price to pride for a person, and then, there are people.

And then, there's the white, cheesy, creamy pasta sauce. Mmmm mmm, I like. The same dishes of course. Limited but still tastes good (for me).

Not very healthy I know. So I am making the switch to rice noodles. They cook faster too. Kway Teow. Some recognise it as Hor Fan Kway Teow. It is accompanied here by chicken, fish, egg, a couple of balls and some juicy cheese sausage awaiting a grown man's swallow. Pardon my George Lim Heng Chye moment.

And from "rice noodles", I've progressed to rice. Got calamari rings too this time. I have had my fair share of balls and edible lingums, it's time for the soft chewy yoni-analogues. That's what you get when you have a cook with some knowledge of (trans)gender theory.

Cooked the same old shit, but good tasting stuff. Pan-fried my cod fish again. Omega 3 oozing in my veins. The wife can only eat one piece given its apparently oiliness. Don't look at me!

Above: The recurring character that is my oyster sauce chicken. Chicken thigh + oyster sauce + basil leaves + dried till leaves + all-purpose seasoning + BBQ sauce + black pepper + ground pepper + tomato ketchup (all in small portions), pan-fry with lots of garlic and if you're lucky, diced streaky bacon bits. I choke on my drool.

Above: The cod is wedged between my thongs. Fry them skin-side down and cover.

And you don't just cook rice with a rice cooker. Coming back from Boracay, the Philippines, I harboured the ambition to cook garlic rice.

Bought a cake of butter (what's the collective noun of butter by the way?). Melted it with the rice in the rice pot. Melted more of it on the frying pan, chuck in a fistful of ground garlic till they're golden brown. Threw the rice into the pan and stir gleefully. Wonderful stuff.

Tada! The food is so Beautex! The rice is yellow with butter and garlic. The wife says it's better than Manhattan Fish Market's rice. Hehehehe. Of course, every househusband should be able to cook rice better than Manhattan Fish Market's rice.

Right of the astonishingly green vegetables is a bowl of diced potatoes. Not just any potato. It's my take on the Danish caramelised potato, which is apparently a Christmas food. Joycelyn's paeleontologist friend, a Dane, told me about this simple dish.

It tastes really good. Depending on your heart condition, melt a generous load of butter on the pan, toss in some (or a lot, depending on how you measure things) sugar, and throw in the potatoes when the mix is caramelising. Yes, very unhealthy, but so very good. I should have drowned the whole thing in salt and have mayo dip, but there's only so much my heart can take.

I may be your anglophobic nightmare of a "jiak kang tang" kid, but I can cook my fair share of "kang tangs" too. Of course, rice is a healthier option than potatoes.

Homecooking may lack the excessive salt and seasoning we get from outside, but it makes up with the abundance of blandness that is the love and occasionally sexual minority activist sweat put into it.

The more I try to make the food taste better, I find myself going resorting to unhealthier options - more oil, salt, sugar, seasoning, etc. Maybe if/when I possess a steamer (referring to the one in the kitchen! You're sick I tell you.), I'll start making steamed food for a change.

That's it from me. I hope to try doing other dishes next time. I've yet to finetune the butter garlic rice as the rice still comes out a little dry. Maybe more water should be put into the rice cooker.

I see a link between intellectual curiosity, tennis, music and cooking - stuff that interest me a lot - and I also realised why I am drawn to them. There is a certain degree of exploration, introspection, creativity and wonder, and at the same time, there is technique, approaches and the discovery of strengths and weaknesses.


yamizi said...

"don't you get a little bit frustrated when people are evasive about saying stuff about themselves? Why are some people so secretive about what they do, where they stay, how old they are and so on?"

I usually reacted the same way if I observe that they are behaving like this.

I have this long-time-no-see friend who is behaving like this. When I asked him what he does for a living, his replies will vary between illegal arms-dealing, terminator, I-have-to-kill-you-if-I-tell-you (what kind of occupation is that?!), etc.

Another girl got very defensive when I asked about her age and got flared up after I discovered her age and told a classmate of mine.

Cannot understand why.

puzzled said...

it is a "stick" of butter.